On Revisionism (and McGrady)

2010 January 15
by rahat huq

Perhaps the most striking element of the Tracy McGrady Debate has been a revisionist tendency exhibited by his detractors.

There exists a notion that, to the convenient omission of his obvious physical decline, McGrady’s most recent struggles are simply the latest proof of an allegedly inherent incompatibility with ‘winning basketball.’

This assertion is then oft punctuated by an absurd causal reductionist claim attributing the team’s first playoff victory last May to Tracy’s mere absence from the lineup.

It is true that McGrady has not been good for some time.  And for his egotism and total lack of verbal discretion, perhaps he does deserve his current plight.

But it’s just odd that some feel a need to revise the past for validation of their beliefs in the present.

I never thought that so easily would go forgotten the Jordanesque performance he put on against Dallas or the leadership he exhibited during ‘The Streak.”  I guess I’m far too trusting.

The exception I take is not out of affinity for the player; it’s in affinity for established fact.

It’s just funny.  I don’t know how it’s so difficult to say, “He was good then and now he isn’t.”

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  • jerel
    " And for his egotism and total lack of verbal discretion, perhaps he does deserve his current plight."
    What is egotism? McGrady has no monopoly on egotism in the NBA. Also, what is verbal indiscretion? Also, McGrady has no monopoly on verbal discretion.
    I'm really baffled by people (including yourself) grasping for reasons to dislike the guy. If his plight (not deserved) is based on the above words (egotism and verbal indiscretion) I feel that it becomes cynical, mean and, pretty much, baseless musing. While I don't intend to defend his excellent talents as a player, I must say that I'm proud that this (still) young man has not robbed a bank, brutalized his fellow man, fallen into a drug habit, and has not bad mouthed his ungrateful management (others who might be considered egotiscal and have dispensed verbal/actions indiscretion. Red94, I'm really impressed with and enjoy your statistical and fact-based scientific reporting, but to imply that McGrady is done or is on the otherside of offering a proven talent is a revision on the unknown (however much speculated) future. I advise you (and and other detractors) to hold your final assessment as I have yet to hear any fat lady sing. Good luck Tracy McGrady!
  • closeparenthesesplease
    Wow, no one is going to read this, but I had to say it: you're a strange one. "Has not robbed a bank, brutalized his fellow man, fallen into a drug habit..." ?

    First of all, is it really that hard not to rob a bank? Why be proud of that? (And did you say that because he's... y'know... a shooting guard?)

    Also, sitting on the highest salary in the NBA for one last year isn't what I would consider a plight. Maybe he'd be happier playing than sitting around, but I'd sure as hell trade for his situation.
  • jerel
    You said: 
    "Also, sitting on the highest salary in the NBA for one last year isn't what I would consider a plight".

    Well, if money solves everything, you're absolutely right.  But, I mentioned other human intangibles that represent more than money.  Sure McGray is monetarily rich, but he also has other human needs that money can't provide.  So, stop hating on the man because of his money. Also, trading him seems logical.  My argument was the way that it went down. There's nothing "strange"about my opposition to that

    "Deconstructing life issues"

  • On Revisionism (and McGrady) | Red94 | essays and musings on the ... http://bit.ly/5ww5gB</span>
  • Melechesh
    Tracy was never as good as you guys claim him to be for his bad shot selection and the love for long-range pull-up jumpers even when healthy. I'm sorry but he's not in the same class with Kobe, LeBron and Wade, let alone Michael Jordan.
  • Lars
    Hes not, but he was.
  • rahat_huq
    bob - completely agreed. i personally think his days as an impact player are over, but i'm completely at peace with everything. it just didn't work out. its funny though how so many just can't let their hatred go.

    easy - that's true. its just odd though that some view it all through a vortex of black/white. its possible to hate someone but still recognize/appreciate their past abilities.

    kerebutu - perhaps. but i would argue that this is unreasonable criticism. he holds the 5th highest scoring average in nba playoff history. i think its dishonest to definitively correlate his lack of success with some inherent downfall of his own. things just didn't work out for him.
  • Kurt
    As someone who lives in Houston, and is around Rocket fans, it does strike me as weird that McGrady, and not Yao, gets the blame for the Rockets lack of success. Most fans around here dub Yao as one of the greatest centers ever, but shouldn't that mean the team lives or dies by his success? Perhaps this is why so many are quick to blame Mcgrady. Cause if they didn't it would mean that Yao is just above average and that is a proposition that they seem unable to live with.

    I just do not see it. as far as Yao is concerned, I just do not see it. He is big and can score pretty easily. He also can pass very well. But he just doesn't move well enough to really be effective and he is easily neutralized by a big man that can run the floor.
  • Red94 | essays and musings on the nba & houston rockets: On Revisionism (and Tracy McGrady) http://tinyurl.com/yc23w4w</span>
  • David A
    Even before last season, TMac's playoff numbers are better than his regular season numbers, almost across the board.
  • kerebutu
    I believe the issue with McGrady and "winning basketball" is what he has done in the playoffs. I don't think people feel he was not good during the regular season - it is the postseason that matters with elite players. Players who win in the postseason always have better reputations as winners than those who don't win (or even make it to the postseason).
  • james
    i'm not a stats geek but i do remember checking up on that one of the years both yao and tmac played together (i think it was dallas). their playoff stats were higher in all categories (and some categories significantly) than their regular season averages.

    ppl are just frustrated that two superstars couldn't get out of the first round but they had a terrible supporting cast for years. i just want to remind you that ryan bowen used to start for the rockets... and now i'm not sure he's even in the nba
  • Easy
    I think the hatred (perhaps justifiable) generated by his recent antics clouded many fans' perspective of McGrady. If you dislike a player as a person, it is natural that you want to dismiss the person's abilities as a player. I know I am guilty of that sometimes and I am not proud of it.

    Think about the players Rockets fans love to hate: Dirk, Kobe, and pretty much the whole Jazz organization. Most of us have the tendency to discredit their accomplishments because we just don't like them.

    What is amazing to me is that a lot of people who hate Pippen (who is at least as deserving our hate as McGrady is) are willing to appreciate Pippen's skills than they are to McGrady's skills.
  • bob schmidt
    When Tracy was at the top of his game, there was no one better in the NBA. He is a victim of circumstances if ever there was one. Championship wins are the product of a complete team, not just one person, ask LaBron.

    It is still too early to know if he can return to being more than a shadow of his former self. To excel as he once did requires pushing your body beyond its known limits. That is not something that he will be able to do yet. By next season he might surprise a lot of us.

    To your point Rahat, he was great then, isn't now, and tomorrow hasn't arrived yet to see if he can recover some of the old abilities. He deserves recognition for his domination of the game before his injuries, even if not for his inability to communicate with management and fans. He is who he is, and that's ok with me. I wish him well in the future.............
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